Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blog P-I-M-P

I have to do a little blog pimping.

DCup has a great post here. Her posts are normally great, but this one is especially great and expresses much of what I have been thinking about lately and she does a better job of writing about it.

Fairlane also a great post, in a similar vein as DCup.

Its good to be white and rich

As I was falling asleep last night I had the TV on and I heard on the local news that the president of Duke apologized to the lacrosse players and their families. I have no idea if this was national news as I am relatively close to Duke so this may have only made the local media, I also saw an article about it in the local paper and the article is here. He said that Duke should have done more to support their players and to show that the university was behind its students. He said that the university should have pointed out that the young men were innocent until proven guilty. Brodhead, the Duke president, also noted that some faculty spoke out against these young men and he or someone from the administration should have condemned their speaking out. He felt that by not saying anything it was assumed that this was the university's position and not the position of any individual faculty member. He was also bowing to pressure from alumni and players' families, according to the article.

Well I hate to tell everyone, but these young men were condemned by everyone for what was assumed to be a rape case. This was national news and most of the media was talking about how tragic these events were and how these young men should not have been able to hire a stripper on a college campus. The fact that Duke did not say anything should be commended. Brodhead notes, "he was initially concerned that if Duke spoke out too forcefully it might have appeared that 'a well-connected institution was improperly attempting to influence the judicial process." And this is exactly what would have been the case. This was a case for the judicial system to sort out, this was not for any college to discuss. I understand saying they should have pledged their support, but as a college president why would you want to appear to support rapists on your campus?

There is another issue here that bothers me. The fact that the young men at Duke got away with something because they were white and rich. I understand that it has now been proven that the girl in question was lying, but she was still at a Duke lacrosse party and was still stripping for a bunch of college students. She was still hired by these students and it seems that these young men were not totally innocent either. There were reports of racial slurs being thrown at her among other things. I am not condemning the hiring of strippers, I am not condemning young men watching women take off their clothes (hell I like this as much as the next guy), but this case came down to the race of the people involved. If the athletes had been black and the women white and the same circumstances had occurred the same way, there would not have been the same backlash. I am pretty sure that the DA would not have lost his job over it, sure he may have been censured and there would have been repercussions for the shoddy job he did in the investigating of this case, but he would not have lost his job. There would not be people screaming for the president of the college to apologize for the lack of support that was given by the university among them Jay Bilas who is an analyst for ESPN and a former Duke basketball player.

When this happens again and it will happen again, if it hasn't already several times over, where a young women is on a college campus working as a stripper or entertainer or even just at a party and this time she is raped by one or more people, will she report it? Has the Duke lacrosse case shown young women that by reporting rape, your whole life will be put on display and that in the end it is about 50-50 whether they will even be charged, especially if the men are white and you are a minority? This seems to be taking place to close to the Jena 6 case. Will anyone lose their job over what was basically a school yard fight and the whole judicial system overreacted? Will anyone apologize for not supporting these young men from the school or other public forum? This is just another case of where it is good to be white and rich in America, you get separate justice form the rest of us especially the poor and minority.

Sex and relationships

Ok so now that I have your attention, I am going to talk about my first girlfriend. This post was inspired by Dcup's post here. No, there is no sex, but I thought the title might be catchier than "my first girlfriend". Also, I believe that this relationship set-up my dating life or lack thereof.

This was not the version I originally was looking for, but after seeing it I liked the sign language and visual elements that added.

So this sort of sums up my first love. It was the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Seventh grade had been hard for me, I didn't have a lot of friends and so struggled socially. I also seem to remember my classes being tough as well for me at the time. Heck all of middle school was awkward for me, anyway... So, I was on the local swim team and had made some friends. My best friend Trent had started "going out with" this girl Erin who lived in my neighborhood and also was on the swim team with Trent and I. Erin had this best friend, Tara, so typically the four of us would do things together. We mostly went to the YMCA when they had teen nights and ran around and Erin and Trent would make out, we mostly egged them on by playing truth or dare where really the only people who did anything were Erin or Trent. So, I am hanging out with these three and since Erin and Trent are off making out at times, Tara and I start talking and become pretty good friends, we also had this little flirt thing going, I think. So I remember it is the last day of school and we were allowed to walk home to Erin's house where her mom, I think I am remembering this correctly, drove us to Trent's house where he had a pool. I know we walked back to Erin's house which was near my house and I know we went to Trent's I am just not sure of the exact details. As I am writing this I remembered something that I had sort of forgotten about, on the walk home we went through this nature area that was still ont he school property and Trent and I had squirt guns which we then were squirting the girls with. I also remember Tara and I fighting over the guns, this kind of flirting and touching without actually knowing what we were doing thing. Anyway, so we end up at Trent's house and I remember we were just swimming around playing. We ended up in this game where we were trying to give each other wedgies in our bathing suits, and of course Erin and Trent were doing their thing and Tara and I were doing our thing. So each couple (although Tara and I were not a couple yet) were just flirting and playing around. Tara had to leave at one point, she had an orthodontist appointment, I think (it is amazing the details that I remember from this day). So she left her stuff including her yearbook as she was coming back and told us to sign it while she wasn't there. I signed it and in it I asked her to "go out with me". I thought this would be easier than actually having to say the words and would be more romantic or something not quite sure. So, of course, Erin and Trent saw this and wanted to know what was going to happen. I went home and Tara stayed at Erin's house that night, so I got a call later that night that Erin and Tara wanted to walk around the block with me. I said Ok and then we walked around the block and Tara and I talked, after a few times, she said that she would "go out with me". I was very excited and I seem to remember Erin doing a cartwheel or something because she was also happy. So the next day the three of us hung out and I had my first kiss. We were playing truth or dare, it was basically a set-up for me and Tara to kiss and I don't think I was that naive that I didn't know this, I mean it was me, Tara, and Erin. Anyway, so I had my first kiss in the shower.

I love using that line it makes it sound so naughty and yet of course it was innocent. We had been dared to kiss and we just couldn't get any privacy. The room we were in Erin or her sister kept waling into, they wouldn't leave us alone even though Erin was the one who had dared us. So Tara and I decided to go into the bathroom to kiss and they kept knocking on the door, so finally we went into the shower and had our first kiss. We didn't see each other again for a bit as I went to my grandparent's house near Boston. When I got back I had phone calls from all three of them, Tara, Erin and Trent. So I called them in order of importance, Tara first, but she was out on a walk. Erin next but she didn't really want to tell me what this was about. Trent finally told me that Tara had started "going out" with another guy she had met at Bible school. So I finally talked to Tara and she confirmed it and said she had wanted to "go out" with this guy for a while. So we broke up, but that is not the end of the story. I continued to hang out with Tara as we stayed really good friends, I don't really remember being all that heart broken. My mom tried to cheer me up, but I was fine. So, I continued to hang out with Trent and Erin and Tara and we continued to go to the Y for Teen Nights. I remember now Tara and I now became part of the truth or dare thing where we were dared to do things as well. So while she was dating Neil, the other man, she and I continued to kiss and I even had my first french kiss with her, so I guess I was the other guy. I did get a phone call from Neil once, threatening me because he suspected something was up because she and I were such good friends, she was basically my best friend that summer. Both Tara and I denied it and he just couldn't prove anything so he threatened and nothing really came of it. Toward the end of the summer Tara and Neil broke up. Tara and I were still friends so I remember going over to her house one last time and we talked and stuff, it was good, we were friends and it was just the two of us. I had been there a bunch of other times as I would hang out with Erin and Tara and Trent there occasionally or I remeber my brother and I riding our bikes up to her house as it was not that far away. But this time it was just the two of us. We ended up dancing in her living room for what seemed like several hours, but I am sure was only maybe an hour. Anyway, this also was the first time we really just had a long make up session which happened as we wer dancing in her living room. How we started dancing I am not sure, I remember we started to dance to one song and then stopped and then danced to another and then just never stopped till my father called and I had to go home. I also asked her to "go out with me again" and she thought about it while we danced. She finally said no, that she wanted to be single after dating Neil. This is when I was finally heart broken. I spent the next few weeks depressed. I listened to this song obsessively.

Tara had made this tape for me and it was a song of heart break so I was obsessed, I listened to most of this Def Leppard album, Adrenalize, all the time.

Tara and I didn't talk through eighth grade, but we did see each other at a move up dance where the eighth graders went to a high school dance (this was one of three dances I went to in high school). We talked again that night and even danced I think. We went to homecoming that year, but nothing ever really developed and I have no idea where she is or what she is doing. I think she got married, but I am not sure.

P.S.- DCup you were right that was good for the psyche. That song still takes me back to that point in my life every time I hear it and just did when I listened to it this time.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cable update

So on last Saturday, I called the cable company and downgraded my cable to basic (only the first 20 or so channels which is mostly just local shit). They did it after trying to sell me on staying with digital cable, they even offered to lower my bill about $20, but I got rid of it anyway. So she tells me that they cannot get someone out to do the official disconnect till yesterday (the next Friday), but that I would not have to pay for the cable for that week and there would be a credit on my account. She also says that I should bring in my box as soon as possible, but that they would not charge me for the box until after three days after the official disconnect. I, of course, kept the box the whole week and had digital cable the whole week. I think I saw the guy doing the disconnect on Friday as I was getting home, but after walking Logan, he was pretty much gone. I think he was in his car, but he never came to the door or anything that I know of. So I checked and sure enough in my bedroom I only had the basic cable. I still had the digital cable box in the living room so I still had digital cable, this was the first things I checked when I got home from my walk. So I figured I would have the basic cable in the living room once I got rid of the box. That turned out to be wrong, at least for right now. After I got everything set up, I had to get a composite cable to hook my DVD/VCR combo to my TV because the TV does not have a cable tuner and then plug everything in, it turns out I still am getting ESPN, and all of the other standard cable channels (the more expensive package with more channels that I am not paying for). I keep thinking that the guy will come back on Monday and fix that, he just needed another piece or something and will make it so both cable outlets only have the basic cable or that I will get my bill and will have to pay for the more expensive package, but for right now I am going to enjoy getting the better cable package for the cheaper rate. And if they do come back and expect me to pay the higher price I will fight them as it is their mistake not mine, I confirmed with both the girl on the phone and the girl when I dropped off my digital box today, as I payed this months bill as well while I was there, and they both confirmed that I had the basic package. So here's hoping that I will still be able to watch Monday Night football and some of the other shows that are on Standard cable that I was giving up by having only the lower channels and will only pay the lower rate.

I hate Target

Ya know I had a better post for today, so I am falling back on the post that came to me earlier. I hate Target. I had to get some stuff and so I went in there and I feel like I go in there every week for something. The crowds were backed up at the front of the store and people were just milling about or something, I don't know, but as soon as I got away from the front it wasn't so bad. I really wanted to get a waffle iron as I wanted to make waffle tomorrow, but they only had square waffle irons and one Belgian waffle maker and I didn't want square waffles or Belgian waffles, I just wanted regular round waffles. Yes, I know this is being petty and stupid, but sometimes I just want something specific and will not settle for anything else. I think this trait also gets me in trouble in my lack of a dating life as I have standards that are too high, like she is smart, funny and liberal. I know this is much to ask for, but they do exist, look at the people on my blogroll, many of them are women and all of them are funny, smart and liberal. Anyway, back to target, what is with the red shirts, isn't red supposed to be a color of anger or passion and yet these people look like they are doing me a favor by acknowledging my presence and checking out my purchases.

Finally, and the big reason I hate Target is that I feel like I am in someway selling myself out. I do not shop at Walmart as I detest Walmart and will not step foot in there. But Target is another chain that is ruining small businesses. They are these giant mega stores that take business away from the small business and they build on land that could be used for parks or small farms or something better than a fucking megamart. But after running around all day having to return my digital cable box because yes I did it, I got rid of my cable. I went to one place and found out that they cannot take returns of cable boxes only exchanges, which makes no sense to me but anyway, I had to run home and get directions to the main office for the cable company and then wait in line for twenty minutes. I also went to the farmers market, yeah farmers market and I still had to go to the regular grocery store after Target. I went to Target and it was packed and I was in no mood to deal with a packed store which I knew it would be, but still I hate Target. But I go to Target because I can get everything I need like todays trip, paper towels, composite cable, shampoo and I was hoping a waffle iron. On the positive side I did get Regina Specktor thanks to Dr. Monkey's week of Spektor turned me on to her.

So basically you just got my day in a nutshell and all I wanted to say was I hate Target, oh well I guess they are better than Wal-Mart or at least I hope they are or I am truly SOL.

Friday, September 28, 2007

YouTube Friday

These two clips I saw on other blogs, but I wanted to show them here. One kind of disturbs me and one makes me laugh, see if you can guess which is which?

Giraffes Fighting!!!

Rachel Maddow

And the answer to our little quiz was a trick question both of them make me laugh and both are a bit disturbing. Giraffes fighting kind of funny, but really disturbing. Rachel Maddow is funny while the Values Voter debate is disturbing.

Another Rachel Maddow just because

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I want to see...

a Jamie Fox and Jon Stewart buddy cop movie. I am not a huge fan of Jamie Fox, but for some reason I think this would be a really funny movie. He was good in Ray. Jamie Fox was on Jon Stewart last night and they mentioned this idea, all in jest, of course.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Miscellaneous photos

All of these photos were taken last night while I was making dinner and I was going to share them there, but I forget to.

Basil that I had bought at Earth Fare that looks and smells really good. I think it will go into this weeks pizza in some form

Logan with his head down

Logan watching me cook dinner. I think he is hoping for a bite or that I will drop something and he will get some. He has eaten and I do not generally give him people food, but depending on what drops I do at times let him have it as long as it is not chocolate, garlic or onions.

I'm moving Canada

I mean if they are looking for people so badly and the lawyers are working to bring people in. If the next president is a republican, I may have to do this.

...or Bolivia

This man does not have a high school degree, was a farmer and has made real change in his country. Why does the U.S. get stuck with the idiot who graduated from Yale, but can't speak English?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

He cooks too

So since all the cool kids (thecunningrunt and Dr. Monkey) are doing it and DCup has even threatened/promised a post about her dinner, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and post my dinner. I had tilapia, steamed green beans and a sweet potato. The tilapia was marinated in this sauce, .

Yes, Papa Hemingway is now making marinade. Apparently he was good with the sauce and not just alcohol. Anyway, it is a pretty good marinade, normally I would just use garlic and sesame oil on the tilapia, but this time I decided to use a marinade instead. Here are the steamed green beans before their time in the sauna.

Here they are after

Here is the final product.

That is a white sweet potato, I found it at the farmers market and it was pretty good. Yes, it is sitting on a place mat on a table and no, I didn't eat there. I never use my table as I never have company, but it looks nice and it worked well to set up my dinner shots tonight.

The top pundits or what the hell was Forbes thinking

So as I am sure that everyone out there reads Forbes magazine or Forbes online you are already aware that they have ranked the top ten pundits in America (I found this out watching Mike and Mike this morning on ESPN2, yes they do talk about more than sports occasionally.) I thought I might share this with you and give you my thoughts on their selections. Forbes defines a pundit as "a person who makes comments or judgments, especially in an authoritative manner; critic or commentator."

1. Roger Ebert- I am Ok with this one. Many people do rely on him to help them make movie choices, I may not solely rely on him, but I do check out what he thinks.
2. Bill Maher- He is a comedian and a host of a show on HBO, I am not sure how that makes him a pundit? He makes judgements, but does he really have that much influence? Since his show is on HBO how many people actually get to see him on a weekly basis?
3. Bill O'Reilly- Ok so we all knew he would come up here and I guess he is important to some people. I think he is an idiot, but you can't really deny his influence.
4. Al Franken- Another comedian, this one has written some books. Yes, he is liberal and yes he takes shots at Rethugs, but again as with Bill Maher does that he really make him a pundit?
5. Geraldo Rivera- All I have to say about this is when a former football player, Mike Golic, laughs at this selection, you might want to re-think it.
6. Rosie O'Donnell- She is outspoken and has gotten into fights with Barbara Walters and Donald Trump, but I am not sure that she really has issues that people really listen to her about. It seems to me that when she is talking about her big issue, Gay rights, people do not really listen to her or respect her opinion.
7. Leonard Maltin- Another movie guy and again many people follow his advice on movies so it makes sense for him to be considered a movie pundit.
8. Greta Van Susteren- She does seem to have some clout, so ok maybe.
9. Lou Dobbs- Again he has some clout and people do listen to him. I find him to be annoying and racist, but that is just me.
10. Bill Walton- I guess they were trying to get a sports guy in there. Well, Bill is very outspoken and is interesting to listen to, but he only talks about one sport, pro Basketball. I would say that Chris "Boomer" Berman is a better choice as he talks about many sports and his main sport, football, is more popular nationally than basketball.

It seems I have issues with most of the people they have listed. I also have issues with people they left off, namely Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. I would argue that Jon Stewart is more influential than most of the people on this list, only Bill O'Reilly, Leaonard Maltin and Roger Ebert are more influential, in my opinion. Forbes says that they excluded him along with Howard Stern (um yeah great comparison) because they are entertainers. Well what the hell are Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell, Al Franken and Bill Walton, they are all entertainers. They may express strong opinions, but they do not have the influence of Jon Stewart. Forbes notes "the troubling trend of young adults getting their news from The Daily Show not withstanding" as another excuse for Jon Stewart's absence from the this list. I am not sure how they define young adults, but I am pretty sure that Stewart's base of support is very diverse in age and actually covers from kids to grandparents and it is not just "young adults" who get their news from Jon Stewart. Many people include Jon Stewart in addition to other news sources, local news, national nightly broadcasts, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News (ok maybe not Fox News, but still a wide variety of sources) as a way to find out what is happening in the world. Also, shouldn't we note that young people are the ones who are voting and will run this country, they are the future leaders, so shouldn't we pay attention to who they listen to and get their information from. I may be a little biased as I love Jon Stewart and he is my primary source for news, but a big FUCK YOU goes out to the Forbes people. I may hate her with the passion of a thousand red hot suns, but couldn't Ann Coulter be included on this list and make more sense than Geraldo Rivera.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Men in education

Newsweek has an article in one of their most recent editions about men in education and the drop in men in education over the past forty years. They talk about some of the issues that men face in education. They discuss the fact that especially in early education if a man is teaching it is at times assumed he is a pedophile because why else would he want to work with young children. This creates a real barrier to men geting into the field of education and staying in the field. This is bullshit obviously and I am not even really going to address this. Another issue they bring up is that there is the assumption that the man must be gay if he is too nurturing or caring. In other words if he is good with kids he must be gay. This strikes me as similar to the pedophile issue as we all know that all pedophiles are gay and vice versa, NOT. This issue also can cause parents to remove their children from a man teacher's class because they do not want their child to get teh gay. They may be OK for a bit, but as one male teacher points out in the article, when he showed some nurturing ability like tying a scarf on a child's Halloween costume (WTF?) the parent assumed he was gay and wanted her child to be moved out of his class.

The final issue that they mention is the low pay. I have an issue whenever I hear people complain about the low pay of teachers and cite that as the reason they got out of education. You know going into teaching that the pay is low, this should not be a surprise. This is not a hidden fact and you can look up the salary for the local school district on most school district websites and look up the state averages among other details on the internet pretty easily. So, should you be shocked when your friend who has a business degree is making almost twice what your starting salary is, NO. You should know this going into choosing to become a teacher, so don't use that as your cop out when you can't hang and you bail. I am not arguing that teachers should not be paid more, hell as a teacher I would love to be paid more. I mean what is more important than educating our children and hence we should get paid like we are valued, but we are not and I knew that and I still choose to become a teacher, so please don't use money as an excuse.

The other issue I have with citing money as an issue for men in education is that this is the same issue for women and yet it seems to be singled out for men. One of the people interviewed notes that he is single and is OK with the salary, but he is not sure what he will do when he gets married and has kids. That is blatantly misogynistic. Men are still expected to be the breadwinner and so with the low income of teachers they are not able to support their families. I thought women had entered the workforce and could now help to provide an income for their families. This is no longer the purview of the man to supply the entire income, by suggesting that men cannot stay in education because of the low salaries is ignoring that women struggle with the same issues. I feel obliged to point out that two of my favorite bloggers are in this exact situation, DCup and Mathman. Mathman is a high school math teacher who is married to DCup (what a lucky man) and they have three kids and yet somehow they are able to raise their children and Mathman was not driven out of education. (Side note, my apologies to Mathman and DCup about using you, but I felt as though you were a good example of what I was trying to say.) We do not make the same issues when a women who is a teacher gets married, worrying about how she will help support her family, so we need to stop making the issue for male teachers and just accept that the low income sucks for everyone and it is tough for everyone to raise their families on a teacher's salary, but for some of us it is a choice we are willing to make because it is the right decision for us.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What happened to protest music?

You don't give money to the bums
On the corner with a sign, bleeding from their gums
Talking about you don't support a crackhead
What you think happens to the money from yo' taxes
Shit the governments an addict
With a billion dollar a week kill brown people habit

-Brother Ali

What happened to artist who looked at the U.S. and said this place is fucked up? I listen to a lot of different music, but I hear no one saying that we have a fucked up nation. Well, I hear underground hip hop artists pointing out these facts. Artists like Brother Ali, Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli, Maroons, Atmosphere, Aesop Rock all point out the hypocrisy in our world and the way this place is fucked up and yet they get no play time on major radio. They are not even well known within the hip hop community. The Dixie Chicks tried to put out some music that protested the war and what was going on, but country radio wouldn't play it, no surprise there and I like country music, but they are just conservative political music i.e. Toby Keith. The rock/pop stations did not seem to pick up much of it either, we here in the left applaud their efforts but how many of us actually went out and bought the album. I should also point out Billy Bragg here as he is amazing, but again not being played on the radio or at least not that I have heard. Even though I was not born in the sixties, I have the feeling that there was more openness to allow musicians to talk about the hard issues in that time period. I can refer to artists such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkle among many others who pointed out the fact that the war in Vietnam was wrong and not just in their songs, they talked about it in other venues as well. Music these days seems to be either all about the "bling" in other words money, emo rock of bands like The Shins or The Decmeberists (I point out these two bands because I really like both of them) or country radio is well country radio. I would say I miss a time when music was more on the edge of society, but since I was not alive when this occurred, I wish the music would be more of a reflection of the realities of what is going on. I wish more artists and radio stations would play music that said hey this war is fucked up and we need to bring the soldiers home. I wish more artists and radio station would play music that looks at the growing economic disparities in the U.S. and tried to do something about it. Music is supposed to be fun sometimes, it is how we can relax, but it also has a responsibility too. It has the responsibility just like all mass media, in my opinion, of showing us the hard things, of pointing out that things are not easy all the time. We have wars, hurricanes and the illusion that everyone is rich and needs diamonds and big SUVs that is perpetuated by the musicians of today is annoying and false.

I could be listening to the wrong musicians or the wrong music stations. I don't really listen to rock stations anymore as I find them to be annoying and all rock music to sound the same anymore, to me at least. If I am listening to the radio it is country radio or NPR. I listen to a lot of underground hip hop, some rock bands like And your will know..., A Perfect Circle, or early 2000s rock like Linkin Park, bluegrass like Nickel Creek or Alison Krauss, or indie rock like the The Shins or Bright Eyes, all on my iPod. My point is mentioning what I listen to is that I don't listen to just one type of music and yet I cannot find many artists who are really great at pointing out the fucked up nature of our nation.

Friday, September 21, 2007

YouTube Friday

Because, I am seeing these guys on Sunday night in concert.

Because, he is the man in Black and for the Jena 6.

Because well... because they are Nickel Creek

Yes, my taste in music is a bit eclectic and this is just what I felt like tonight.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Money talks

I am thinking that this weekend I will get rid of my cable, well sort of. I am going to keep cable, but just the most basic package. This package has 20 stations, which are mainly the local stations and a few others, and will cost me about $12. I thought about getting the standard package, but then the price jumps up to $50 and I figure if I am going to spend that much, I might as well keep the digital cable that I currently have, which is $65. I sat and counted and the digital cable has 146 channels and that doesn't count the On Demand and all music channels. I figure I probably use about 12 or 13 (I counted these too, so this is not really guess) of those 146 channels semi-regularly and will miss some of them like ESPN and Versus (for hockey season) and BBC America, but it was not worth me paying that much money for channels that I just don't use. What I really want is a way to pay only for the channels I use. I figure with the new digital boxes, the cable companies probably can limit access to specific channels, thus allowing me to pick which channels I want and then only pay for them. I am even willing to pay a premium for this service, I would pay $2 a channel to be able to pick, we do not pay nearly this much right now, so why not let me pay more and then have choices in what I watch. Or they could say pick 20 channels and then charge me a flat rate like they do with the basic plan, even if that rate was like $35, I can justify that because I would pick channels that I would actually watch. But they do not want to offer this service, so I am stuck dropping their coverage.

Since I am saving so much money, I thought I would look at other services so that I can still see most of the things I will be giving up. I found out that on iTunes I can watch Jon Stewart for about $10/month, so this seems worthwhile to me. The real issue is with sports. I can see most of the ACC college basketball games and that is what I want in terms of college basketball and really college football is pretty well covered between NBC, CBS, ABC and then at the end of the bowl season, Fox. Hockey is of course an issue, but I wasn't seeing that many games anyway, since only Versus carries games along with NBC occasionally. This is disappointing and I have thought about getting the pay per view hockey package, but I am not a big enough hockey fan to want to spend that kind of money. But I found out that I can listen to most of the hockey games on the internet for free, so that was good. The NFL is the real issue, I talked about this before here and basically the NFL is greedy and knows that they are the biggest sport in America, so they have me over a barrel. I have no choice in terms of watching games other than the ones on CBS or Fox except to buy another radio package since they do not offer the TV package on my cable company. I thought iTunes had a way to watch NFL games, but it is just the highlights that they want to show you from all of the games, which is of no interest to me. I love football, so I guess I will miss the Monday night games which are on ESPN, but if it is my team, the Steelers, than I can go to a bar and watch it. So, in the end sports are not even a real issue.

Satellite TV does not seem to be a real option as it is still a lot of money for the same channels I get now and do not watch, so that seems to be worthless. I honestly believe that I am not the only one who would pay more for channels I actually watched if I could pick those channels rather than having 130 that I do not watch. If someone reads this and know of a way to get and pay for only the channels I want, like an alternative service than let me know. I guess that means more movie reviews and hopefully more book reviews and a lot more time reading blogs and writing on this one.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My 100th post

Let me introduce you to my inspiration... no that is not quite right, my still not right, the reason I blog... nope, hmmmmmm..... how about the dog who wakes me up in the morning... yeah that is about right. You think waking up to your spouse's morning breath is bad try waking up to doggie morning breath it is worse, trust me. And try to sleep when he is alternately sighing on you and whimpering. He wakes me up at 7, well it used to be 5:30 or 6:00, but I had to put my foot down and make him sleep till seven. And guess what he doesn't care if it is Saturday or Sunday, he still wants to go outside at 7. He doesn't care if I am sick or well, he still wants to go outside at 7. I know of you are saying, but I have kids and they are just as bad. Ok, so that may be true except you can tell the children to go in another room and watch TV or whatever. Also after a certain age your children become potty trained and you can expect them to be able to use a toilet and flush their waste, thus you become not as involved in their bathroom habits, yeah not so much with a dog. You have to walk behind them and clean up all of their little presents and for a bigger dog, the presents aren't so little.

But I would not give up my dog for anything, he is always there to greet me when I get home. He is happy to see me no matter what and he never complains about, well... anything. He loves to go for walks and wants to play sometimes, but is happy sleeping all day as well. He doesn't cost me that much in terms of food and I don't have to cloth him or send him to school or college. Overall, he is awesome. He also listens to me when I talk to him, he doesn't understand a word I am saying, humans do have him there, but when I need to just spout off he will sit and look at me and listen. Also, it has been shown that petting an animal reduces stress. I got him from an animal shelter where he was obviously well taken care of by previous owners, he was overweight. Now he has lost 35 pounds and has the energy of a puppy and he is 7 years old. So here he is, Logan.

And remember to spay and neuter your pets.

To the best damn Lesbian Pirate

If you do not know about Cap'n Dyke than you are missing out on the best Cap'n to sail the seven seas. I am honored to be in her crew, so go check her out. I was going to try to do this all in pirate speak as today in Talk Like a Pirate Day, but my brain will no let me think that hard. Plus her cabin mate is Angelina Jolie, so she has good taste in women as well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

US women's soccer update

I only saw the first half of the women's game this morning against Nigeria, but I did see the lone goal that was the winner for us. It was an awesome goal and I was very glad that I got to see what I did of this game. The fact that we won and North Korea lost to Sweden means that we have the number one seed out of the group and will play England on Saturday. So if you can watch the game on Saturday, do it as our women are amazing and soccer is a great game. I have not been able to find a time for the game, but I will look later and then post that as well.

UPDATE: The game is on at 8 AM ET is what it looks like.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Why I blog

This post by DCup helped push me in the direction of talking about why I blog. I had been thinking about why I blog lately and had come to some interesting conclusions, at least to me. When I first started out, I figured this blog would be me talking to myself on the web, basically no one would comment and I would post merely as a way to vent some energy and frustration. I didn't really want a blog that was self-serving and vain, I didn't want a blog that no one would be interested in, I didn't want to be talking to myself in a void, but knowing that there were a lot of blogs out there and so getting noticed would be difficult, I figured I would just ramble at times and then would get bored and stop blogging. I figured this would only take about two months and then I would find something else to take up my time, reading, movies, watching football, who knows what else. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, I discovered that I really liked to blog and that this was a great outlet for my frustration, but also for the slightly crazy side as well. I found that blogging allowed me to express things and think about things that I may not have ever thought about or at least not in as much depth. I found that by writing about what was happening I could figure out what I thought about the issues, I also figured out that by putting my thoughts out there others could see what I think. I also realized that as much anonymity as I have in blogging, that no one really knows my name (ok so some of you know it from the BG Salon), where I live or those details that we seem to guard carefully about ourselves, you know more detail about some of my thoughts, fears and life than friends of mine that do know some of the basic personal details. I have come to look forward to blogging everyday and after the daily walk wth the dog, I immediately come to my computer and see if anyone has responded to the previous posts and then I post whatever I am thinking about that day. Some days it is bizarre such as the "Today I was thinking about demented bunnies, so here they are." post of a few weeks ago and some times it is more boring stuff such as my love of football or my job, but it is always me. This blog is about me and my life.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who comment and encourage me by commenting. It is nice to know that there are others out there who, at least somewhat, think like me. I also have to say a big thank you to those who have told me when I have commented about my feeling where I am still trying to find my voice, "don't worry about it, your voice will find you" or "voice, you don't need no stinking voice, just blog, baby". Those may have been paraphrased thoughts, but they are what keep me going when I think about how random this blog is at times and how much work I still have to do before I will be fully satisfied with my writing skills and the subject matter that I write about. So thank you and may the force be with you.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The end is near

Apparently the world will end in 2012. I learned this as I was walking through Barnes and Noble today, there was this book, which I thought about picking up just for fund and curiosity. I didn't, but wanted to post about it but I couldn't remember the name of it so I went to the Barnes and Noble website and searched for the keyword "2012". There were 90 items returned for that keyword. After looking at several of the books on the list, the book I originally looked for seems to be rather tame. It just suggests that there will be a massive metaphysical awakening in 2012, while others say that there will be massive earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters that will end life on this planet for us and most all living creatures. Most of these books do say that they also will tell you how to be one of the rare few humans who survive this ending of life. The initial book relies on the Mayan calender which suggests that there will be a huge shift in human culture in 2012. This same calendar is used by several of the other books in addition to a lot of other "evidence". They suggest that geologists, seismologists, cosmetologists and other scientists are really worried about the year 2012 and the effects on the earth. They point to the fact that the earth will be at the center of the galaxy in this year and that there are supposed to be massive solar flairs that will reverse the poles of the earth thus changing our rotation. Some of the books even identify the day that all of this will happen as it is all supposed to happen within a few hours. The day is December 21, 2012.

Ok so now that I have informed you all that we have a little over four more years to live, you may be wondering why I created this post it is a bit extreme and sounds more like that crazy street person who is always predicting the end of the world. Well, really I think it is like the predictions for 2000, when there was supposed to be the apocalypse because it was a new millennium and well nothing happened or did it? Maybe the electing of W. was the first sign of the apocalypse, I know I have thought at times that he was the devil so maybe something did happen in 2000.

Seeing the book also coincided with me thinking about what would happen if there was a revolution in the U.S. I have seen several posts predicting that Bush and/or Cheney may seize power espeically if the election in '08 does not go there way. I know it is a bit of a joke, but what if it happened or what if the next president continued to extend the powers of the executive branch as Bush has done. That email that I received that I referenced here shows the fear that some have that a woman or a black man may become president. There seems to be a bit of a revolution brewing. What happens if there is another election where the president is not voted in by the masses, do we finally revolt? This could happen either way, whether it is a Democrat or a Republican that wins. Is there a real divide being created between the right and the left? I am not referring to those who are in the extreme of either. I am referring to the individuals that I read every day, whose blogs I admire. There seems to be a bit of a spirit where we feel that the two sides are beginning to have real division, this may not be reflected in our politicians, but in the everyday people I believe it is reflected. I can also refer to Ann Coulter, Pammy, Ann Althouse, Bill O'Reilly all of which are not outside the mainstream in reality. They may seem like nutjobs to us on this side of the divide, but to many they are reality and we are the nutjobs. So this election and possibly the 2012 election are crucial in American politics and these people who have all of these apocalypse 2012 books may not be so far off. There may not be huge natural disasters or the end of the world, but we may have a huge shift politically, culturally, economically and religiously. And yes what happens in the U.S. does affect the rest of the world, so if there is a huge shift here it will be reflected worldwide.

Or maybe it is just my love of dystopian novels, revolutionaries like Che Guevara and Emiliano Zapata, and an overactive imagination that have led me to these conclusions, I just don't know.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

And we call ourselves civilized

This is an email that I got from a friend, obviously we differ politically, but why someone would send this to me and think I would agree is beyond me?

Who is Barack Obama?
U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu , Hawaii ,
to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel , Kenya and
Ann Dunham, a white ATHIEST from Wichita , Kansas . Obama's parents met at the
University of Hawaii .
When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya .
His mother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia .

When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia . Obama attended a
MUSLIM school in Jakarta . He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out
that he was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.
Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to
Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior
Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence
over his son's education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, introduced his stepson to
Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta . Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching
that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world.

Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking Major public office in the United
States , Barack Hussein Obama has joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his
Muslim background.
Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy. The Muslims have said
they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest le vel
through the President of the United States , one of their own!!!!
ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office - he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead
the Koran (their equivalency to our Bible, but very different beliefs)

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?

This is another episode of how afraid the right is that a white man may not be the president. I am much more of a Kucinich supporter than Obama, but I would rather Obama as my second choice. And I love that last couple of lines about the Koran. He did not use the Holy Bible, is there an unholy Bible and where can I get a copy of it? Ok I give up, I am trying to make a coherent post here and well I am so annoyed at this shit and the blatant racism and bigotry that is perpetuated by the right, that I can't so I will try later.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I got this email from today and thought What the Poop?

As someone who has purchased or rated books by Stephen King, you might like to know that Trust the Process: A History of Clinical Pastoral Education as Theological Education will be released on September 28, 2007. You can pre-order yours by following the link below.

Trust the Process: A History of Clinical Pastoral Education as Theological Education
King Stephen
Price: $29.00

This is why you should not trust a computer to recommend books.

YouTube Friday

Because it is currently raining and has been all day plus it has RuPaul.

This one goes out to our illustrious President, W, since he wanted to keep the troops in Iraq, here is what I think of him and his decision.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who am i to argue?

Bluegal says this deserves to go viral and who am I to argue. It is really great.

What are you trying to tell me?

Today I received two more emails from my mom that were wedding announcements from former high school classmates. Now I have been out of high school for ten years, I know to some of you that does not seem so long ago, but to me it is a long time and much has happened in my life since then. So every once in a while my mom sends me these little notes with wedding or engagement announcements and I wonder what she is trying to tell me. Is she trying to say, hey maybe you should find a wife or at least a girlfriend since these people did? Or is it more innocent,more like hey look what they are up to now or the town information? I live five hours from where I grew up and am very glad of this fact. I grew up in a relatively small town and was ready to go away for college when the opportunity presented itself. I needed to get out and see the world and get beyond the small confines of the area I had grown up in. So, now I don't really care what happened to the people I went to high school with, I was not good enough friends with any of them to care how their lives turned out. I went to my fifth year anniversary and I sat and drank two beers for about an hour (that included time for me to go find a Mac machine) and then I went and wandered around the mall for a bit before I drove home so that I was not home too quickly. I have no interest in going to another graduation anniversary till at least the 25th if not later than even that. Both my parents really liked high school and had a lot of friends that they wanted to see and some they even keep in contact with, but I didn't and really neither did my brother, so stop sending the wedding announcements, I just delete them anyway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where I was 9/11/01

I was thinking about where I was on 9/11/01 as I think this is the even that will define my generation like the Kennedy assassination did for those how are older than me. There was nothing before it, that I can think of, that had that I remeber where I was when this happened moment. You could make a case for the fall of the Berlin Wall, but I think that 9/11 is more defining as this event has launched two invasions and the re-election of a president in addition to changing the face of politics and how we view our own security.

So, on 9/11/01 I was working in an elementary school in Newark, DE. I was working as a mentoring coordinator through an Americorps* program. My desk happen to be in the main office area with the secretary and actually as you walked into the main office, my desk was the first one that was seen, so I was usually expected by the parents and other visitors to be able to help them, when in fact I could do very little and normally had to defer to the secretary, who was awesome by the way. (As an aside, the most important people to know in the school if you are working there are the secretary, custodial staff and the lunch people, as these people really run the school and can be of great assistance if they are on your side.) I was sitting in the main office and I had only started about a month ago and the school year was only a few weeks old and one of the teachers came into the office and said her daughter had called and there was a plane that had crashed into one of the towers in NYC. We had no TV that was hooked up to cable, but she wanted to know if we had the radio on in the office and if we had heard anything. We didn't have the radio on, but we put it on at that point. I immediately said well lets check on the internet and see if cnn or msnbc had any news about what had happened. Now as we all remember initially it was just one plane and so there was some curiosity, but no real panic yet. By the time we had checked the internet, it was now reported that there had been a second plane that had hit the second tower and now there was some concern about what was happening. From that point to when we were released early, there was a lot of activity in the office and at the school, but it all seems to be a bit of a blur. The principal's daughter lived in Manhattan and so she was trying to find out what was happening and if her daughter was all right. We were fielding calls from parnets wanting to know if school was letting out early and for a while we did not know and all we knew was school was still in session all day. Parents were coming in to take their children home as they were panicked and wanted to be with their families as we all did and so we were trying to keep them calm. I remember one parent in particular who was Arabic coming in and wanting her children immediately and telling us as we tried to calm her down that we didn't understand the backlash that was going to happen and she was afraid for her families safety (wow was she right about the backlash). Of course, as happens in a school, the grapevine started to work, so teachers were walking into the office to see if we knew any more details on the attacks or if we were getting out of school early. They also wanted to know what they should be telling the kids, what was the official school and district line, how much should the teachers tell the kids. The teachers were told to just act like it was a normal day and let the children talk to their parents about these issues, but this was difficult as children were being pulled out of school pretty much up until we finally had an early dismissal, so some of the teachers of the older children mentioned that there was a plane accident in NYC. There was also a lot of concern as Newark, DE is two hours from NYC, two hours from DC and an hour north of Dover Air Force base, so there was a concern about whether Dover was going to be another target of an attack and if we as being the middle of this triangle should be worried. They released us early and I went home where one of my roommates was sitting watching CNN and we sat and watched it for most of the rest of the day. Those events will be with me for the rest of my life and so I want to remember those whose families and friends died in the three airplane crashes.

As an aside to this, on October 11 there were memorials for victims and I remeber there being a five or ten minute program on the radio with the national anthem and a moment of silence. A group of us had gotten together and were outside our apartment with a radio playing with a bunch of candles. I remember a Latina women peeking her head outside with her small child and seeing us, she must have heard the buch of us outside with the radio on loud and wondered what a bunch of young twenties kids were doing. She saw us and then about a minute later, she opened her door with her own candle and stood there in the doorway listening with us to the national anthem. When the moment of silence was over, she closed her door and went back inside and we all went back up to our apartment, but I remember that women, who we did not know, seeing what we were doing and joining us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Are we making it worse?

I heard very little of Gen. Patreus's comments today, but I heard a brief remark he made about the fact that at the beginning of our nation there were growing pangs and that is basically what Iraq is going through at this point. He talked about the issues with states' rights and slavery and that we needed to have discussion and at times violence. Maybe my memory is a little bit off from high school history, but I believe we had a Civil War over these issues, so this was no little bit of violence and a lot of diplomacy, quite the opposite really.

So that got me thinking, maybe we should pull out totally and see what happens. I know what the critics of this idea would say, it would be mass chaos with Iran and Syria and the other surrounding nations being pulled into a regional civil war. I am not so certain that would happen, I think that if the US pulled out, Iran, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia would have a vested interest in solving the issues that plague Iraq. None of these countries have any desire for a regional civil war especially when you look at the fact that this would upset the balance of power in their own nations, Saudi Arabia is a monarchy and who knows what happens if there is a larger war, and Iran's has a theocracy that those in power do not want upset. These nations, I believe, would intervene to ensure that Iraq's problems would not cross their borders. Right now all these countries are not going to really act because the US is involved. They have such fear and hatred toward the US that they do not want to help the US, Iran especially. They do not hate us because of our freedom as some very stupid people have tried to contend, they hate us because we are always meddling in their affairs. The West began to divide and attempt to conquer much of the Middle East after World War I and we have not stopped since.

I know there would be bloodshed and I am sure we would see a large Civil War in Iraq. There may even be some genocide, at this point we should possibly step in, although we haven't stepped into Darfur yet and that is definitely a genocide, but I think that if we make the Iraqis and the Middle East responsible for what happens in their own nations they may actually take that responsibility. It may not be the way we want the issues to be solved, but for a nation that values its own sovereignty, we need to start allowing other nations to be sovereign as well. We also need to involve the United Nations as well with possibly a small peacekeeping force in Baghdad, but maybe not. As I am writing this, I am not sure I know the answers, but too many people are dying for nothing. Oh I know why they are dying, it is for OIL, but oil is not worth the killing of people in my opinion.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I love my job, but...

Even though it was only a four day week, somehow it seemed longer than usual. We are moving the children who are now three from the two year old rooms into the preschool rooms, which of course means that now I have several children who do not know the ropes and so are running wild through the room. This is not so fun and means that things have been crazy in preschool land. But I do have some requests that I would make of people who have children entering school for the first time, whether it is preschool or kindergarten.

1. Teach you child to wipe their own bottom when you begin to potty train them. This seems to happen with little girls, they are taught to wipe which of course makes sense, but then the little boys do not know how. It is a helluva a sight when I hear "Mr. Boxer I am ready" coming from the bathroom and when I go to find out what they are ready for, I find a little boy bent over with his ass in the air. So please help them to learn to wipe, I know children do not do such a great job at this and I don't mind being clean-up crew (yes I did that intentionally), but finding a child just waiting to be wiped who is four, my first reaction is, "Your arms ain't broken, do it yourself" and then of course I encourage them to do just that and then offer to help them when they are finished.
2. Teach your children to not comment on the penis of another child, at least not out loud. I walk by the bathroom which we share with the next room over to hear, "you worry about your own penis and not your friend's penis." I, of course, backtrack and just look across the bathroom at the other teacher with what must have been a puzzled look as she said to me, "he said that his friend's penis looked silly." I guess luckily it was boy and not a girl that made the penis comment, but still... Teach your children to keep their penis comments to themselves, please.
3. Having your little girl ask a male teacher if they "have ever seen a girl's boobies" puts said teacher in a tough spot where he is forced to lie to the children. I am not advocating not teaching your children about the parts of the body and I actually believe that safe touch and other early forms of sex education are a great idea, but asking the personal experience of a teacher is not such a great thing to encourage in your child. They need to be taught that certain conversations do not happen in school unless they want the teacher to be fired.
4. Be realistic about your expectations for your child and their potty training. If your child is fully potty trained and not not have accidents that is awesome, but most children will have an accident once in a while and so you need to make sure if they teacher asks for a change of clothes that you send at least one set of clothes if not more. There is nothing harder than running around trying to find underwear and sometimes pants for a child because you have not set any in or have not replaced the two to three pairs of dirty stuff that was sent home the previous day. That forces the teachers to have to borrow from another child and so now your child is wearing someone else's underwear. Pee pee accidents are not so bad, it is the poopy accidents that will really stain clothes and don't be surprised if the teacher just throws the underwear away if it bad enough.
5. Fuck is not an appropriate word for in school so please discourage your 3-5 year old from using it. Also, when your child is wandering around the room saying "kill the teacher, kill the teacher" and it is brought to your attention, please remember that the teacher is only trying to help.
6. Do not name your child Tigerlily. Yes I know it is from Peter Pan and yes I like Peter Pan and unusual names can be cool, but that is taking it a bit far in my opinion. That child will be put through hell as a child and probably even as an adult. So think when you name your child, if you want to name her Lily as an homage to Tigerlily and just know about the real meaning than fine and even tell her at some point, cool, but if you name her Tigerlily, yeah not such a good idea.

So yes the ABCs are important and so is counting and learning to read, but there are more important things to work with your children to learn.

YouTube Fridays

Today is a bit of the old school shit. Who remembers the Fraggles?

Now for some Mr. Belvedere with the incomparable Bob Ueker

And finally, My Two Dads which starred Paul Riser of course and Dick Butkus was in the show, but I had totally forgotten or possibly never realized that Giovanni Ribisi was in this show, but was credited as Vonni Ribisi

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

Yeah me too. Ok so I am guessing that most everyone who wants to, know that tonight is the first football game. It is the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts for those of you who don't know and care although I am not sure I know anyone like that. If you don't care than fine. I am kind of excited, I will really be fired up when I get to see my first Steeler game on TV, but for now I am just happy for this time of year. Football season is starting, hockey is not too far away, and the baseball is getting ready for the playoffs, I am not sure there is a better time of year, although for those two weeks in March and the beginning of April with March Madness are pretty cool too. DCup made a reference to this being a pop culture blog with my movie reviews and that is true, but this blog will probably also turn into a sports blog as well at times, but I will continue to be as random as I seem to be right now.

Things have changed

I have been hearing several songs on the radio, mostly country, that talk about the way things have changed in the world in the singers lifetime and that got me thinking all of the changes that have happened in my short lifetime. Computers have come a long way, they now have color screens. I remember having a green screen computer or my dad's laptop for work which had a purple screen. The computers had like 256Kb or if you were really advanced 512Kb and now you can get memory sticks that you can fit in your pocket that have that much memory if not much much more and they are like $20. The printers were dot matrix printers and they took forever. I even kind of remember mimeograph paper for handouts in school. The internet was just a government tool and most of us had never heard of it. In sixth grade I remember a friend of mine talking about how he could get on these things called bulletin boards and talk to people across the nation. He had a 56k modem and that was really advanced, most people only had a 28k or 36.6k (i think i am remembering the speeds correctly). They talked about how a 56K modem was not really practical as you could never get to that speed anyway on the telephone lines, but people wanted them because they sounded faster. I am sitting here using my Mac and really up untill recently Macs or Apples seemed to only really be in the schools, I can remeber using one in my school, but it wasn't always good because we also had PC in school and you couldn't save stuff on one and then use the other. I have Microsoft Office and can use it on both computers, my Mac and my PC.

Cellphones were not even really cell phones they were called mobile phones. My dad had one becuase he was an insurance salesman at the time (same reason he had a laptop) and it was this phone in a big case that you had to plug into the cigarette lighter for power. It is amazing to see phones that are smaller than our hands now with better capacity than those old phones. We also had phones that had to be plugged into the wall, it was a big deal when we got a cordless phone and the range sucked on it, but still there was no cord.

Microwave ovens were a big deal. My mom didn't understand why my father bought her one, she figured she would never use it and now I am not sure she uses the conventional oven that much, it is just easier to nuke most anything. When we got cable that was a big deal, I know some of you are saying I remeber black and white TVs, well I don't and so cable is a big deal for me. We had one of those set top boxes that were brown and had th buttons on the top that you had to press down. There was no remote, you still ahd to get up to change channels, but now we had HBO. I also remember when MTV showed music and it was a lot of different music. There was the pop rock stuff that was on a lot, but if you wanted heavy metal there was the Headbangers Ball late at night or if you wanted rap there was Yo, MTV raps! I also rember the first few seasons of the Real World, the father of all reality TV, where this was still a novelty and people were actually surprised that it was on TV. Nintendo was brand new and was a big deal. I didn't have it as my parents didn't feel it was necessary, but I had fiends who did and it was awesome when I got to play on their Nintendo. It was great when Mario Brothers or Duck Hunt were considered great graphics. I even rembemer the brief period of laser discs and how they were considered the future of movie watching. I had records although not too many, but I owned a lot of tapes. It was a big deal for me when I was able to get a mucis system with two tapes players and CD player on it with my Bar Mitzvah money, it cost like $500. Now you can get a smaller system for like $50, mine was actaully pretty big. I also remeber making mix tapes where you had to time it just right and make sure the silences weren't too long between putting one tape in to play and the other to record. I am not sure you can even buy music on tapes anymore, I think you have to buy CDs.

I will be curious to see what the next ten years bring in term of technology let alone the rest of my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hypocrisy and the religious right

This will be a semi-religious post, so if you are not interested in that than please feel free to read another of my posts or you can move on and check back in with me tomorrow.

So, many people have pointed out the hypocrisy of Sen. Vitter and Sen. Craig, among others, who have come out for family values and against gay rights and then have had affairs whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. This is a huge hypocrisy and so should be pointed out, but there is another one, one that I think is much bigger that I have not noticed anyone else point out (if you have then please put the link for that post in the comments section as I would be interested in seeing someone else's thoughts). The fact that these so called Christians question God. They say that God created the world and everything in it, they say that God is perfect, they say that you should not question God's judgment, they say that God is omnipotent and that God knows the path of each person's life and yet they say that God made a mistake with homosexuals. The religious right and other religious fundamentalists say that homosexuality is wrong and point to passages in religious texts that support their views. Ok, so then why does God allow homosexuals to exist, if God is all powerful and all knowing and does not approve of homosexuals, why doesn't God just wipe them off the planet or better yet why were they created? If humans are created in the image of God then doesn't it make sense that homosexuality must be part of God's plans for us humans. God does not create what is not needed if God is perfect and all powerful. I know what you are thinking, it is a choice and God does not approve of the choice, but gave humans free will so there is nothing God can do about it? That seems to be weak to me. That is giving up on God, in my opinion, and saying that God really isn't all powerful. That is like the Koan, can God create a rock that even God cannot lift? It is circular and there is no real end to that without exiting the paradigm and saying that God is not all powerful. So the idea that God creates free will for humans and then allows choices that God does not approve of to exist, just doesn't make sense to me. There is also this idea that if you pray enough God will make you straight again, but then doesn't this undermine free will. Either we do not have free will and God has ordained that some people will be heterosexuals, some will be homosexuals and that some will be bisexual or we do have free will and God does not care about our sexuality. This means that praying enough will not cure you and going to a special camp or therapy program or whatever will also not cure you, you are who you are. God created you the way you are supposed to be.

Also, I am not sure I have heard Sen. Craig say it, but I have heard it said that it was lust that was the sin. He was not gay, it was lust that got him. Well, I would buy that in Sen. Vitter's case. He was overcome by lust and it was for another woman, hence the only real issue is the lust part, but Sen. Craig was lusting after men. So not only is he showing lust, but also after the same sex. That seems to be more complex than simple lust. That seems to be a man, who is not willing to admit to himself and others that he is at least bisexual if not homosexual.

So here is the hypocrisy, we as humans know better than God even when we say that God is the creator of all and that we have to trust in God's judgment.

Here is where my own thoghts come in. We are ALL children of God or Gods and we are all created in their image and that we are how we are supposed to be. If we are black, green, orange, yellow, white, homosexual, heterosexual, male or female, we are how God created us. We need to learn to accept ourselves and those around us for the strengths that they bring into the world and the complex people that they are. We need to stop underestimating God and trust that our lives are created the way they are supposed to be. I think that as long as the people involved in the relationship can give consent, hence no children and no animals, than it is no ones business, but their own. I believe I have no right to question your faith and you have no right to question mine. I have no right to question if your belief in God is strong enough or in the "right" God or Gods and you have no right to do the same to me. I also have no right to expect you to believe in God, if you are an atheist, than more power to you and I encourage you to continue to live your life within your own moral code. I definitely fall into the free will camp and hence God is not all powerful, but that does not mean that I cannot believe in a higher power and one that I pray will give me wisdom, safety for myself and other and the ability to teach and learn as much as I can from those around me.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Movie Review- Shortbus

I feel like I have to start out by saying that this is an amazing film and that part of the reason I wanted to see this film is because John Cameron Mitchell is the director. He directed another of my favorite films Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Shortbus is essentially about several individuals and the relationships they develop. The name Shortbus refers to an underground club that they all frequent that is part poetry/music/film house and part sex club. The characters are all trying to find themselves with issues ranging from a young man who is depressed to a woman who has never had an orgasm and is a couples/sex counselor to a woman who has never had a stable relationship. The plot is really interesting and the relationships between all of the characters feel genuine. This film is essentially about the search for love. But the reason this film is unrated and hence may not be on everyones list is that there is a lot of sex in the film. The sex is always within a relationship and is "real" sex, it is not the typical porno style sex that seems to crop up in all American films. These are real people having a real connection and having real sex. There are a variety of different sexual acts from a straight couple having sex to a homosexual threesome to scenes of masturbation. Again, this is an amazing film. The development of the relationships is very well done, the cinematography is amazing and the direction is great, so if you get a chance to see this film, do it.

UPDATE: So I watched the extras and they are also very good. There are a lot of really interesting things bout how this film was made. They also talk about how the sex is filmed and that most of the orgasms that are shown are genuine and not faked, yet another difference between this film and most American made movies. I can't remember this happeng with any other film that I have seen, but even the deleted scenes were all great, I really wanted them to be in the film as well. Normally, for me at least, there is at least one or more scenes that I think yeah I really understand why that didn't make the cut, but with Shortbus I think any of the deleted scenes could have been added and it would not have hurt film. I also have to add that originally one of the characters plays the personal assistant to the Bush twins and there are some great scenes of him on the phone with the president, Jenna and not-Jenna.

Movie Review- This film is not yet rated

This film came out I believe two or so years ago and I have wanted to see it for quite while, but since it is not rated, it can be difficult to find. Well, I finally decided to join Netflix just so that I could get movie and Shortbus which I will review later. So this is an interesting look at the MPAA and how the ratings board works or doesn't work. It is part movie about the fact that the MPAA rates indie films and films from the major studios differently, violence and sex differently and straight and homosexual sex differently. The other part of this film is watching the filmmaker, Kirby Dick, hire private investigators and then try to find out who the members of the ratings board are as this information is generally hidden from the public and even the filmmakers. So overall, it was a really interesting and I thought good film. There are some great interviews with directors such as Matt Stone (South Park), Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, etc.) and John Waters (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, A Dirty Shame, etc.) among many other independent filmmakers. The extras in this film also are great especially as there is some interview material that did not make the film, but is in the extras that are really funny or really informative depending on the interviewee. I highly recommend this film to anyone and think anyone who thinks they want to become a filmmaker to see it, just that you can become more aware of the obstacles that you may have to overcome, but that ultimately you can get any movie done if it is compelling enough.